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Linux Gaining Strength In Downturn

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the monday-morning-slow-ball dept.

Linux Business 293

gubm writes "A February survey of IT managers by IDC indicated that hard times are accelerating the adoption of Linux. The open source operating system will emerge from the recession in a stronger data center position than before, concluded an IDC white paper."

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The best things in life... (5, Insightful)

dov_0 (1438253) | more than 5 years ago | (#27208885)

are often free!

Re:The best things in life... (5, Insightful)

Architect_sasyr (938685) | more than 5 years ago | (#27208897)

Whilst it may hold true, I don't think that's what is causing the adoption of Linux. In fact, I would go so far as to be almost sad that this is what causes the adoption - a mass of IT people not that capable of learning the system are going to crop up and potentially turn FOSS into an almost "Windows Admin" type of system. I'd rather see Linux (or BSD) adoption on a wide scale due to the benefits of the systems, not because they are free.

Re:The best things in life... (4, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#27208973)

Worse than that I think, is the fact that it seems people are looking at this like F/OSS is a commercial competitor to Sun and Windows et al. What it really means if Linux ends up with a better position in the data center is that Windows or Sun is losing out. Sure, there will be a few people (Redhat et al) who make money from this turn of events, but it's those who will not that should be more important.

I know that it's cool to say 'hey, Linux is making headway' but it's also true to say that someone else is losing out. One thing is reasonably certain in these times: There are very few companies expanding their IT departments and data centers. It Linux is winning, who is losing? That's the real story because unless Linux totally messes up, they won't get that market share back anytime soon. Say goodbye to the MS business plan. That's what we're really talking about, the slow death of Windows in the data center. Perhaps we should bring in the life support systems now?

Re:The best things in life... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27209055)

Quote: "the slow death of Windows in the data center."

And that would be a bad thing because.... why?

Keep in mind that, besides Linux being a higher quality product--especially for the data center-- money not spent to prop up the MS business plan is money that stays with the local business/local economy to be spent elsewhere.

Re:The best things in life... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27209437)

And that would be a bad thing because.... why?

It's not. It's just Balmer posted on Slashdot again...

Re:The best things in life... (2, Insightful)

Jamie's Nightmare (1410247) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209777)

... besides Linux being a higher quality product--especially for the data center

Right. Of course, you can't provide any hard data to back that crap up, but on Slashdot such things aren't required.

Re:The best things in life... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27209857)

Because here in Seattle, if MSFT dies, so does the local economy. I hate MSFT as much as the next guy, but the fact is if they go under I lose my house, even if I do not work at MSFT, since everybody would be affected by that on sch a large scale. They are too big to fail, and when they do, a lot of people are going to be on the street.

I love Linux, but thing like this article scare me.

Broken Windows (1)

pedestrian crossing (802349) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209907)

Yeah, I guess he's falling for the "broken windows" fallacy...

Re:The best things in life... (3, Interesting)

umghhh (965931) | more than 5 years ago | (#27210073)

If my corporation buys services from global player say HP for instance and this in turn gives away whatever flavour linux they currently support then how this is going to cause money staying locally? I mean HP service desks are all over the place and their HQ is thousands KMs away so the money is flowing around or away but not staying?

Whether windows actually dies is another matter. I think this will not happen or not very soon anyway. All predictions about fast adoption of linux because of it being cheaper have not come true partially because corporate service boys charged a healthy premiums on their linux 'loving' customers. I had problems with that myself too - I had to justify to my box why I wanted to use more expensive product and it was linux that was more expensive than vista installation. The price tags have been set by our IT service support company. If I could install linux box myself of course this would be cheaper but than again maybe against corporate policy too.
OC when it comes to small business that is able to make decision and switch within days of making it then this OS switch actually may happen. Alas not everywhere and for everybody.
which is good - we need no mono-culture.

Re:The best things in life... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27209071)

ya i'm sure my data center is about to switch over 10 TB of MSSQL to MySql.

I really wish the Linux based DB servers did half of what MSSQL does, but they don't.

Re:The best things in life... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27209149)

Well oracle does run in linux too and is quite on par with MSSQL...

Obviously evetyone has his own preferences.

Re:The best things in life... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27209409)

Oh I agree. But oracle is even farther from F/OSS than MSSQL is.

Re:The best things in life... (3, Insightful)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209595)

Oh I agree. But oracle is even farther from F/OSS than MSSQL is.

How so? While I agree that Oracle isn't a database - it's a career - one can at least download a free (licensed) operational version that runs under something other than Windows, allowing a developer to, well, develop to a system that will then potentially be deployed on FOSS.

Re:The best things in life... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27209203)

are you on crack?

Re:The best things in life... (2, Informative)

goltzc (1284524) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209453)

What features are you talking about? postgres is amazing and even the pgadmin tool is pretty good.

Re:The best things in life... (2, Informative)

jkrise (535370) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209683)

PostgreSQL can handle Petabytes without any problems. And it is much faster than MS-SQL and much simpler to set up and administer, besides.

Re:The best things in life... (5, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209791)

Have you never used anything other than MYSQL?
Postgres is open source and perfectly capable...
Oracle is considerably more powerful than MSSQL, and Linux is Oracle's preferred platform these days... Linux can also run on considerably more powerful hardware than windows can (mainframes, supercomputers etc) which is important if you have a huge database.
Oracle for linux outperforms the windows version by a considerable margin by all accounts too.

And yes, Oracle isn't free but you'd just be paying for the DB and getting the OS for free.

I believe Google use MYSQL too, so it must be pretty capable if used correctly.

When it comes to databases windows is a pretty poor choice, as is mssql since it's not even cross platform and therefore tied to windows.

If you want to complain about something Linux doesn't do very well, try gaming.

Re:The best things in life... (2, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209241)

And if Windows dies in the data center....? So what! Microsoft has $20 billion in the bank, I'm sure they'll have no problems innovating some new way to make up the lost revenue. ;)

Re:The best things in life... (5, Interesting)

/ASCII (86998) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209389)

I strongly disagree. The high cost and abysmal quality of IT services put a wet blanket on innovation and creativity. Without open source software, the cost of starting up an IT company would be significantly higher; without open source Google, Slashdot, reddit, digg and a thousand other companies would likely not have existed.

I'm excited to see what cool innovations people will come up with if IT costs are further reduced to nearly nothing.

Re:The best things in life... (4, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209505)

I know that it's cool to say 'hey, Linux is making headway' but it's also true to say that someone else is losing out. One thing is reasonably certain in these times: There are very few companies expanding their IT departments and data centers. It Linux is winning, who is losing?

The history of economics is continually increasing productivity. Economies abhor what I call 'drag' - unnecessary costs for the same or similiar benefits. Successful companies reduce drag. If, over time, Linux = Windows - licesing costs; to put it bluntly, Linux will win. The customers of the companies win with lower costs. And MSFT joins the buggy whip manufacturers (which I assume they won't, plenty of other software to make other than OSes).

To argue that propping up Windows (or anything artificially, considering the bailouts) for its own sake is like arguing you create jobs by hiring 100 people to digg ditches and another 100 to filling them. Sure, you're not advancing humanity one iota, and placing a burden on society as a whole, but that busy work sure is keeping a lot of people employed! (People that would otherwise eventually get jobs in still economically productive sectors). BTW, government does this a lot in "job creation", they are called toll booths.

Re:The best things in life... (1)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209743)

Economies abhor what I call 'drag' ... if, over time, Linux = Windows - licensing costs; to put it bluntly, Linux will win.

Not necessarily. If markets were actually free, many things would change - there'd be little ethanol, or windpower, etc. until such time as the market said it was time for such things. Instead, by allowing governments to wield such influence over markets, then we end up with situations where money can, and oh so often does, buy legislation that is favorable to the status quo, or to some industry who has managed to legislate its risk to someone else's pocketbook.

Re:The best things in life... (5, Insightful)

neomunk (913773) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209917)

I was with you until this:

(People that would otherwise eventually get jobs in still economically productive sectors)

That is simply not an acceptable assumption any longer (and it never really was). Where are these magical jobs coming from?

They DO NOT EXIST. Just because YOU and I have food on our tables and a roof over our heads does not mean that everyone else could have the same, if only they would work hard. The trickle-down economics theory is bust because wealth is often HOARDED instead of spent, and even the money that IS spent spends the majority of its time in a corporate cycle of purchasing massively over-priced business services/equipment in order to sell massively over-priced services/equipment to other businesses. Only at the bottom of the funnel (you know, the narrow part) do you get businesses spending money on consumer products in order to make money from the masses. To clarify what I mean, picture the money that is transfered between large business accounts each day compared to how much is spent on payroll. The vast majority of wealth is circulated (and stays) far above the populous' heads. Successful advances in business tech/procedures almost universally involve tipping that balance even further, paying an employee less money (or fewer employees the same amount of money) for the same amount of wealth earned for the company.

The problem of joblessness cannot be left to the market to fix, there must be active solutions toward that goal. Unfortunately I don't have any really good ideas on how that could be tackled efficiently, the only idea I -DO- have pertaining to the subject would be radical and near impossible to implement so I won't even bother to toss it in to the discussion. Regardless, I feel that it is folly to rely on a wealth-concentrating system to widen wealth distribution (which is what happens when people become employed, even if the term has been branded as Satanic by the media).

Re:The best things in life... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27209539)

I know that it's cool to say 'hey, Linux is making headway' but it's also true to say that someone else is losing out. One thing is reasonably certain in these times: There are very few companies expanding their IT departments and data centers. It Linux is winning, who is losing? That's the real story because unless Linux totally messes up, they won't get that market share back anytime soon. Say goodbye to the MS business plan. That's what we're really talking about, the slow death of Windows in the data center. Perhaps we should bring in the life support systems now?

The work of customizing the system to one's needs and maintaining it later on will need to be done no matter if linux or windows or something else is used. What will disappear is the big money charged recurrently for the same thing (like the windows tax for the new computers).
This will only hurt the shareholders (Bill Gates and co) who are already very rich so it won't affect them too much. All the other (most of the time small) companies that save money will benefit much more than those few shareholders that loose money.

Re:The best things in life... (4, Informative)

jkrise (535370) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209589)

Say goodbye to the MS business plan. That's what we're really talking about, the slow death of Windows in the data center.

Nonsense. Even Ballmer agrees that Linux has always been the undisputed leader in the data center. The downturn will only increase the dominance of Linux.

"Forty percent of servers run Windows, 60 percent run Linux," he said. "How are we doing? Forty is less than 60, so I don't like it. ... We have some work to do."

from here:
http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/151568/ballmer_still_searching_for_an_answer_to_google.html [pcworld.com]

Re:The best things in life... (4, Insightful)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209727)

Say goodbye to the MS business plan. That's what we're really talking about, the slow death of Windows in the data center. Perhaps we should bring in the life support systems now?

You say that as if it's a bad thing. Microsoft's predatory behavior has set the entire industry back by a decade or more. Without them, there is plenty of room for new innovation (as opposed to Microsoft Innovation (tm) which isn't really innovation at all). Companies will spring up to fill market needs, robust competition will be restored or invigorated, people will be employed ... it's a good thing for everyone.

Re:The best things in life... (2, Insightful)

AlecC (512609) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209787)

I think, and hope, that it is more a case of the downturn jolting a lot of people out of their ruts. However much you may think or even know that *nix is better than Windows, it is a big decision to change a company from one to the other. In good times, you can afford the Windows tax, and pay it just to avoid the hassle of the changeover. Besides, you busy expanding the business, aren't you? It takes bad times to make you take a better look at the alternatives and to have the time to consider bringing them in.

The silver lining of recessions is that they prune dead wood. Weak companies go to the wall (unfortunately, sometimes pulling good ones down with them), leaving the survivors healthier when the recession is over. If some of the dead wood is M$ systems installed from sheer conservatism, let us cheer for it.

Re:The best things in life... (3, Insightful)

Eriky (724600) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209873)

Those Windows guys will quickly learn Linux, they are without a job anyway, and when the economy recovers they can start administrating Linux servers. Its like evolution, but in the digital world. Those who adapt survive.

Re:The best things in life... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27210141)

"That's what we're really talking about, the slow death of Windows in the data center."

And that would be a good thing. More compatibility would ensue, no doubt.

Re:The best things in life... (2, Insightful)

dov_0 (1438253) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209001)

Perhaps there will be enough stable development in countries which have already or are in the process or adopting Linux in the important places. Schools. When kids use it at school, maybe go on to use it at work etc, that is what they will use at home and that will be the system that seems logical to them.

You could say that a generation is rising up in the developing world which will be almost Microsoft illiterate.

Re:The best things in life... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27209531)

naaaah, you couldn't live without visual studio + the intellisense plugin wich I never remember the name.

Re:The best things in life... (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209039)

But one of the many benefits is that it's free (in both the "speech" and "beer" sense). And if you're looking to convince business management to do something, the argument they will be most likely to listen to is "save money".

Re:The best things in life... (2, Interesting)

goltzc (1284524) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209535)

I used to think that's what management wanted to hear too, but when they say what does the license cost and you say $0. The products are almost immediately dismissed as being "freeware" and hence not enterprise quality.

From my experience management really does love to hear buzz words as in, "This product will leverage the existing synergies in your collaborative workspace to create a global presence".

Now that might be a little extreme on the buzzword scale but my point is, to management it's all about marketing. Open source projects don't typically have big budget marketing departments built around them.

What you see is what you get in open source and that doesn't always make a good sales pitch.

Re:The best things in life... (2, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209929)

Yes, there are a lot of people who completely dismiss open source as being "freeware", relating it to the closed source freeware apps you can download for windows, many of which are buggy and unmaintained...

Some people buy right into the marketing and won't buy anything unless it's come top of a "best of breed" list, meaning the manufacturer has paid a lot of money to have it there...

But what these people do buy, are commercial products which are actually open source under the hood, because some company has built a product using open source, sometimes disguised it as something completely proprietary, and then spent big money marketing it.
These same people who won't touch anything that they consider to be "freeware", will happily buy various things like cisco firewalls and cisco call manager without realizing that they run linux.

Re:The best things in life... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#27210077)

If you are using a machine to do tens of thousands of dollars of business, 'scary' is going to be a bigger consideration than $1,000 for a license. Open source needs to focus on the other side of the equation: "look, we are higher quality" (there isn't some magic rule that open source software is high quality, but successful open source software is nearly universally so, or at least higher quality).

Re:The best things in life... (3, Informative)

dwhitaker (1500855) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209059)

As more people and companies adopt FOSS, more people will get experience using and administering such systems. Some will excel, some won't. I'm sure there are inept sysadmins in charge of *nix systems now and there will always continue to be.

If Linux does see more widespread adoption, more software developers will support it with proprietary software that is only on Windows/Mac/both now. Sure, we'll lose some of the advantages of FOSS, but Linux will be more usable. More adoption, whatever the reason, will spur more development for both proprietary systems and FOSS; at this point, I don't think anybody will argue against innovation or jobs.

Re:The best things in life... (3, Interesting)

Samschnooks (1415697) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209119)

Linux admin, or any admin jobs for that matter, will become more of a commodity. In other words, the admin job will be a relatively low paying blue collar type of job - not something that a CS graduate would think of doing unless they're hard up. The admin jobs will be for the tech school graduates. Which, I might add, there is nothing wrong with it. Linux and the low costs associated will lower the overhead of businesses, allowing them to operate more profitably and therefore employ higher skilled and educated people to the higher paying jobs.

Sounds good? No, the real answer is that the lower costs will end up in the CEO's bonus checks while they continually farm out the admin work to third world countries. After all, Linux being free and all, third world countries can educate those folks for very little money and therefore, flood the market with really cheap tech workers.

We, in the developed World will be cursing the existence of Linux and the rest of F/OSS one day - mark my words.

Re:The best things in life... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27209395)

third world countries can educate those folks for very little money and therefore, flood the market with really cheap tech workers.

And what about it? That attitude seems racist to me

Re:The best things in life... (3, Insightful)

neomunk (913773) | more than 5 years ago | (#27210133)

Racist? Probably not. Classist? Maybe. Nationalist? Probably.

Please be careful when slinging around derisive terms meant to correct derogatory behavior. Applying them too liberally reduces their meaning to nothing more than a meme.

Re:The best things in life... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27209501)

Hey, you guys have better education so it is rightful that you will have do do jobs that fit your education right?

Re:The best things in life... (1)

linhares (1241614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209801)

Sounds good? No, the real answer is that the lower costs will end up in the CEO's bonus checks while they continually farm out the admin work to third world countries. After all, Linux being free and all, third world countries can educate those folks for very little money and therefore, flood the market with really cheap tech workers. We, in the developed World will be cursing the existence of Linux and the rest of F/OSS one day - mark my words.

Yeah, right.

Ballmer, you need to understand that Indians and Chinese can also study and work with windows. Cheers

Re:The best things in life... (1)

Eriky (724600) | more than 5 years ago | (#27210085)

There is no relation to Linux, the same can happen with Windows servers. Actually, they are supposed to be easier to manage, right? Your argument is completely flawed. Or you are just ranting, in which case your post is WAY overrated by its readers.

Re:The best things in life... (2, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#27210149)

Admin work is already farmed out to third world countries and using closed source software won't slow
down that process...

Companies already hire extremely cheap low skilled workers, and this has more to do with the microsoft "so easy you don't need expensive trained staff to run it" marketing... The problem is that you can get away with cheap unskilled staff to get a windows network limping along, but it won't work very well and won't be very secure. But this is all part of MS's marketing strategy because these untrained staff wouldn't have been able to set up a unix/linux/novell based network at all.

As linux becomes easier to use, you will get cheap unskilled workers running it, but the same thing will apply, unskilled workers get a system that limps along while being inefficient and insecure.

Re:The best things in life... (5, Interesting)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209143)

Actually, this kind of thing is somewhat rampant already. I recently worked on an embedded Linux system, and the developers moved to Linux from Windows. It certainly proved that Linux is flexible. You absolutely can run a Linux system in such a way that it totally defeats the purpose.

Their "build system" required you to log in as root or it wouldn't build. To my complete lack of surprise there were flaws in the script that hosed the build machine when run, since the process was running as root. Luckily I was smart enough to run it in a VM, since their is no way I'm building anything as root on my machine. Had I not known any better my system would be messed up, and I would have no idea why.

The new question to determine if someone is really skilled with computers will not be "do you use Windows or Linux" (or some other secure OS). The litmus test which served me so well is rapidly becoming invalid. It used to be Windows + Education + a_clue = Linux. The new formula will be Linux + Education + a_clue = Real Linux Guy. Basically, the Linux Guy wannabee pool is in the process of growing exponentially.

Re:The best things in life... (5, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209153)

The average user, the average sysadmin and the average developer won't fundamentally change. No matter how they told you in grade school that you can become anything you put your mind do, there's people who can't grok a computer if they'd get Bill's fortune as the prize. Some, for some incomprehensible reason even choose to become sysadmins.

The only real options are that Linux will adapt to gain wide adoption or it will not have wide adoption. It should be in the cards that if you talk to people that want shiny buttons about the freedom to hack the code and compile your own kernel, you're barking up the wrong tree.

Why should you be complaining anyway? If 90% became point-and-click Linux admins, who'd he the gurus they'd have to go to when those tools fail them? That's right, you. No longer would you be the sysadmin of some obscure server OS, you'd be the grossly overpaid technical specialist hired it to fix the hard stuff. Oh, what a horrible tradgedy.

Re:The best things in life... (3, Insightful)

digitalunity (19107) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209211)

It's possible for a bad admin to make any system insecure, regardless of the operating system. The wizards in Windows don't make it more or less insecure, its the OS and the admins doing that.

Wizards merely encourage laziness and do not force the admin to have a clear understanding of what it is they're doing. More widespread adoption simply widens the field for admins who really know what they're doing.

Re:The best things in life... (1)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 5 years ago | (#27210123)

Oh, that tired argument of "Its only as good as the admin". Wrong, wrong, and wrong again.

Unix systems have sane defaults, that usually represent some form of DENY ALL. Windows has only recently taken that approach. For the longest time, it was "be as hackable from the outside as you can".

And you can only secure as much as MS designers can think to secure. No source code = no power.

In linux, we can start and stop anything at will, write new auth procedures, and generally prepare for new security. Windows is stuck in the mindset of "Pay for program, or wait for MS to make a 50% clone".

Re:The best things in life... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27209351)

I agree - I don't think it is any one single factor that is spurring the adoption of Linux (If the recession were doing it, why is Apple so strong with their relatively pricey products?). We have the recession, which is contributing to it, but we also had the Vista fiasco which primed people for something different, the debut of several very nice Linux environments (KDE 4, for example) and the move to cloud based computing (Rendering the need for MS Windows secondary to the apps that are run). Add to that the fact that the netbooks running Linux seem to be popular and you have a popular mindset that says "Linux is ready for prime time"...

Re:The best things in life... (1)

not already in use (972294) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209573)

potentially turn FOSS into an almost "Windows Admin" type of system

I don't understand this, and maybe I'm taking it out of context, but are you saying it would be bad for Linux to become more user-friendly to configure? Why is it that FOSS users see the difficulty in administering and maintaining their systems as a badge of honor? I've maintained BSD and Linux servers, as well as Windows servers. I certainly do not view myself as "weak" because I prefer an easy to use GUI to administer a system.

Re:The best things in life... (1)

Architect_sasyr (938685) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209661)

Hell I'm one of the laziest admin's you'll come across south of the equator, if I can click it I'll go that way. But, and this is most important, I can drop down to bash, tcsh, batch or powershell at a moments notice if the job requires. Understanding the system well enough to be able to do this (and I'm no master) is crucial to being a decent admin - something that the insult "Windows Admin" implies the admin has no knowledge of or ability to do. Incidentally this is probably why I (and my company) gets support calls from other IT service companies, because what the basics can't cover, they don't know. The point and click training of these admins is detrimental to their ability beyond "Have you tried turning it off and on again". You've maintained BSD and Linux systems, so all power to you - you don't come under the "windows admin" banner.

Re:The best things in life... (2, Insightful)

miknix (1047580) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209943)

The real thing is that auto-configurations and wizards always bring problems.

Just remember windows, the dialog where you change the ip-address. When you apply your changes, the dialog gets unresponsive for a while and you don't really know what is happening in the background. And notice that changing the IP address can be considered an "atomic" operation.

Now image some other dialog that is supposed to do a lot more.. It would be a pain wouldn't it?

That's something that will never happen when you are at a CLI. Even if you have a script for doing a bunch of stuff, you can always know the line where it failed and why it failed.

Re:The best things in life... (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209619)

This has been going on for a few years now.

The signal-noise ratio in a lot of mailing lists for specific software commonly used in Linux is definitely getting worse. IMHO This is at least partly attributable to an increase in the number of people asking questions which could easily be answered if they only RTFM - or indeed asking questions then refusing to followup if further detail is asked for.

Distribution-specific web forums (coughUBUNTUcough) are often substantially worse - for an experienced Linux professional glancing over these forums, it's like watching the blind lead the blind.

Re:The best things in life... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27209881)

mod parent up!!!

That's how OSS developers have to live now a days.

Re:The best things in life... (1)

umghhh (965931) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209803)

I for one am trying to reverse the trend or kind of. In my corporation R&D (generally called engineers) can ask for different OS boxes depending on what they think is more feasible. Due to administrative restrictions connected with use of linux box I have just decided to switch to vista (and run linux in vm instead).

On more serious note - Look deep into your soul (if you have one) and honestly answer the question: why do you not like the idea of Linux being wide spread.
Chances are that biggest (and possible one and only) reason is that feeling of exclusivity - being a geek and all - suddenly going away as almost everybody will now get exposed to linux this or the other way.
I think it is a good thing not because I like linux but because if all OSes become normal then decisions will be made for a change on merits instead of propaganda and prejudice.

Re:The best things in life... (1)

Architect_sasyr (938685) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209861)

On more serious note - Look deep into your soul (if you have one)

Well that's up for debate...

and honestly answer the question: why do you not like the idea of Linux being wide spread.

In so far as I enjoy the exclusivity, I spend a significant amount of time helping/training those I know who actually have half a clue. The one thing I dread with Linux making a lot more of a market share is the same thing I dreaded when SBS was introduced - I'm going to end up with 100 more calls in a day going "how do I back this up?" "where is the del command?" "what's bash?".

You don't make money working, you make it doing nothing.

Re:The best things in life... (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209933)

a mass of IT people not that capable of learning the system are going to crop up and potentially turn FOSS into an almost "Windows Admin" type of system.
Already happening. Remember a week or two ago, where somebody wanted a policy editor similar to how windows does it?

Re:The best things in life... (0, Flamebait)

linhares (1241614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209723)

Yes, yes!!! That's why it spreads so rapidly; it's free (as in gonorrhea)!

duh. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27208909)

duh.

Linux on the desktop 2009 ! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27208919)

The year of linux on the desktop is finally here!

Re:Linux on the desktop 2009 ! (3, Funny)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209007)

Maybe id will port Duke Nukem: Forever to Linux as a tribute to the up and coming market dominance.

Re:Linux on the desktop 2009 ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27209077)

In Soviet Community Linux ports Duke Nukem for you!

Re:Linux on the desktop 2009 ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27209443)

Not trying to kill the joke, but id?
AFAIK DN:F is 3DRealms' property, and not id's.

Re:Linux on the desktop 2009 ! (4, Funny)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209581)

3D Realms just announced Duke Nukem Forever was to be released in the Year of the Linux Desktop.

Re:Linux on the desktop 2009 ! (1)

Kristy Selvaggi (1500033) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209645)

Now THAT ^^ was funny!

Re:Linux on the desktop 2009 ! (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209691)

Maybe [id Software] will port Duke Nukem: Forever

Computer game industry history: fail.

As has been said: it's 3D Realms.

Re:Linux on the desktop 2009 ! (1)

dvh.tosomja (1235032) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209999)

To late, I'm already porting it to GNU/Hurd

Re:Linux on the desktop 2009 ! (1)

Gusfm (1157321) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209103)

After this [pcmag.com] I believe.

Re:Linux on the desktop 2009 ! (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209297)

After this [pcmag.com] I believe.

OMFG! Dvorak likes Linux? Quickly now, everyone duck for cover! You don't want to get hit in the head aviatory swine!

Re:Linux on the desktop 2009 ! (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209201)

Of course it is... after all nowadays even
Dvorak likes linux [pcmag.com]

Re:Linux on the desktop 2009 ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27209271)

until the pc gaming industry develops (natively) for linux, it will always be second best.

Re:Linux on the desktop 2009 ! (1)

Kristy Selvaggi (1500033) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209747)

You're 100% right. Blizzard releasing WoW for OSX was one of the best things that happened to Mac....well besides running off a Unix backend of course :). However, I do think that even PC gaming is dying slowly due to the advancement and online capabilities of console gaming. Why spend $4K on a desktop system when you can spend $200 on an Xbox 360? MMO's, however, will Always have a home on the PC.

Re:Linux on the desktop 2009 ! (1)

hosecoat (877680) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209681)

We will look back on this time as 'The recession of Linux'

Funny... (5, Interesting)

ZarathustraDK (1291688) | more than 5 years ago | (#27208937)

I find it morbidly funny somehow that companies have to experience poverty themselves before they see the same benefits of Open Source as some third world countries have already been aware of for years.

Re:Funny... (1)

jkrise (535370) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209435)

There is nothing funny about it... people seem to think throwing money at proprietary software will magically solve their problems, and that they will go away for ever. But business models of proprietary software companies mandate frequent and expensive upgrades in the never ending treadmill. Oracle and SQL Server typically involve a 23% annual outlay to stay in sync.

People in so-called 3rd World countries have long ago learnt the value of Open Source software and adapted and adopted it in large numbers.

Re:Funny... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27209903)

No, look at Vietnam for example. Pirated versions of Windows is almost free (cost less than $1 for the media). The result is: 98% of the country is using MS-Windows, nothing else.

Because of the mono-culture, the government is not hesitating to throw tons of money at Microsoft to have legal version to use at offices. The worst part is: an average salary of a normal worker in Vietnam is about $40/month.

Re:Funny... (1)

not already in use (972294) | more than 5 years ago | (#27210067)

people seem to think throwing money at proprietary software will magically solve their problems, and that they will go away for ever.

Do you know why SERIOUS businesses "throw" money at proprietary software? Because one of the first clauses in any OSS license states that the software comes with NO WARRANTY, meaning that if it fucks your shit up, no one can be held accountable. There is also the fact that there is no contractual obligation to continue support for the software. Oh, sure, "It's open source, you can fix everything yourself!" This is one of my favorite idealistic arguments of FOSS proponents that doesn't take into account the man hours that would be required not only to learn and understand the code base, but then to make the required modifications. So, your safest option is to purchase a support contract, which of course means that you're "throwing" money at FOSS. At this point, there is no real inherent benefit to using FOSS, and your choice in software is going to be based on it's quality and technical merits.

Re:Funny... (1)

linhares (1241614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209993)

Right on. Brazilian Banana Catcher here (thanks for your sympathy). It's official policy to migrate to foss. I was pretty appalled at an official bank where they were using firefox.... only to be astounded that it was running under linux. Part of it comes from the stupidity of the government which sees itself as under constant threat from the yankees who are of course crazy to invade anytime now. But part of it is because it is more transparent. And finally because it is cheaper.

note that the mass media around here was strongly against it (some PR machine, perhaps?).

Sad (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27208943)

It's a sad day when people adopt a change based solely on price.

Re:Sad (4, Insightful)

dov_0 (1438253) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209053)

Why sad? Which power company do you use? Was price a factor? Sure it was! When did you last change your phone company or plan? Got a better offer from a competitor?
People make choices on price every day, but if Linux was considered to not be ready for stable business use yet, the price would not entice. Call the economic downturn an extra incentive to take the plunge.

Re:Sad (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209709)

You get a choice at your power company? Or Local Phone? Or Cable?

In these 'free' states of US of A, I get one choice for each of those.

Re:Sad (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209113)

uh, no it's not.

1) Lets take the bus because it's cheaper then the train.

2) This builder, insurance plan, etc quoted a cheaper price

There are plenty of examples.

Re:Sad (5, Insightful)

neomunk (913773) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209183)

Solely?

Please. Linux wouldn't even be a consideration if it wasn't up to the task at hand. The only effect this is having is to make businesses rethink the whole "proven technology" sales pitch in favor of actual cost-effectiveness studies that haven't been done simply due to institutional momentum.

All this is going to do is bring intelligent IT planning into vogue, and make people take a look at system performance/applicability rather than chasing a corporate logo around.

No it's not, that's how engineering works (3, Interesting)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209189)

Engineers will always adopt the lowest total cost option because that's what they do. The old saying used to be "an engineer is someone who can do for sixpence what a handyman can do for a pound" - 2c versus 1$ in US terms.

Those of us who were involved, even peripherally, in metal bashing in Europe during the 90s may remember "Herr funfzehn prozent" - the guy from Opel who would guarantee you a supply contract if you could undercut his present supplier by 15% on price, which included warranty and quality costs. One German company found a way to make fuel injector casings by deforming metal rather than by cutting, resulting in a 50% cost saving. I don't recall anybody saying "What a pity Opel decided to use a cheaper identical product rather than a more expensive one". What they said was "Great, we have a long term contract, a patent and an unassailable technical lead."

Re:No it's not, that's how engineering works (2, Insightful)

TiloB (783192) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209927)

I don't recall anybody saying "What a pity Opel decided to use a cheaper identical product rather than a more expensive one". What they said was "Great, we have a long term contract, a patent and an unassailable technical lead."

Are we talking about the same Opel that lost the quality race in Germany in the 90's in all fields? The same Opel that is almost certainly bankrupt no later than Q2 2009 because we do not like to buy their cars anymore?

Not a great survey (5, Interesting)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 5 years ago | (#27208993)

A survey of 330 IT Managers makes for questionable results as, although it doesn't state the sampling method, it suggests 'these are just the people who could be bothered to reply to surveys we sent out' rather than going for a representative sampling.

It's headline grabber is from a flawed type of question : "do you plan to...". The trouble is "I you plan to..." isn't the same as "there are currently plans drawn up to...". You're essentially getting a non-commital 'yeah probably' response.

It's also linking two unrelated questions: "are you planning on increasing linux usage?" and "are you cutting your budget". Whilst their may possibly be links between the two in some cases, it would be a logical fallacy to assume that companies are switching to linux because of budget cuts.

Re:Not a great survey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27209495)

Fortunately nobody taking the survey responded with "I you plan to..." so the problem was averted.

Re:Not a great survey (1)

linhares (1241614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27210059)

wat? you actually read the fucking article? God you must be new here.

smoke&mirrors shortage leaves evil on holiday? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27209049)

it probably just 'looks' that way? better days ahead.

please do not confuse 'religion' with being a spiritual being. our only purpose here is to care for one another. in failing that, we remain transfixed on the illusionary trappings of man'kind'.

The irony is... (4, Interesting)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209111)

That one might think that the very same recession that increases interest in Linux might well put many of the leading vendors out of business.

Novell's operating margin and profit margins are both negative, according to e-trade. Sun Microsystems looks to be in big trouble, as usual.

But, on the other hand, Red Hat did well last year, so I guess Linux fans should keep their fingers crossed as their earnings are due on the 25th of March. Oracle is also doing ok and their earnings are due out the 18th.

IBM is totally kicking ass right now, EPS wise.

So... you could lose Sun Microsystems and maybe Novell, but you would still have Oracle, Red Hat and IBM to fund OSS development, and, of course, Google.

Re:The irony is... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27209547)

Novells problem is their complete lack of quality in their products developed by outsourced facilities abroad. For some idiotic reason all the linux they support is SUSE, they could just aswell drop all Linux support with that mentality.

Novell was balancing on the edge of taking over most Linux business in the corporate world but seriously botched it with stupid decisions and shortsighted gains.

IBM, Dell and HP seem to agree.... (2, Interesting)

jkrise (535370) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209167)

Tomorrow, in an Indian city where I live... IBM, HP and Dell are showcasing their Open Source operations in an event sponsored by PC Quest magazine. There is a hige glut in Open Source adoption (mainly in the servers and storage segment) in recent times in India. I guess the picture is the same elsewhere as well.

mod 0P (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27209205)

metaDiscussions lOng term survival

The new frugality (4, Interesting)

MarkWatson (189759) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209291)

I have recently been writing about what I call the "new frugality." With an estimated 40% of the world's (fake and inflated) wealth gone in the last year, it is finally becoming obvious to many more people, companies, and government that all expenditures need to be judged on value (preferably long term).

Unfortunately for me, virtually all of my recent consulting work has been taking open source projects, making a few customizations or enhancements, and designing a good deployment strategy. On one hand, this is not good because my revenues are down and I enjoy from-scratch development work. On the other hand, this is good because the profitability of my customers makes my future revenue streams more stable.

Linux, web platforms + frameworks, etc. all make IT more relevant because they increase the value to cost ratio.

Novell...Hmm! (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209321)

The fact that Novell folks, who are in bed with Microsoft sponsored this study is s suspect in itself.

Asked what factors would accelerate Linux deployments, respondents said "reducing costs and stronger interoperability with Windows" as the two top issues.

What about creating a distro that users want to use, which distro will work exactly as advertised? Heck what is the use of having Gnash installed yet it will not [properly] play *all* videos on sites like YouTube? We should not install half baked apps on our systems.

The white paper said Linux "has failed to successfully capture a substantial share of traditional client deployments," but new form factors, such as netbooks running Linux, and the growing number of Web-based Linux applications may result in more use of Linux on the client...

This is my opinion, and would not like to start a flame war of any kind. I used to be a GNOME user but find the latest offer from the KDE folks quite compelling. So let's strip out the "fat" in KDE, convince GNOME folks to join KDE in creating a wonderful desktop for the Linux kernel. The license that used to be of great hindrance is no longer a fact in KDE.

I am not saying that GNOME should be abandoned but let's have a fully functional desktop. This can easily be achieved in QT and KDE.

Re:Novell...Hmm! (1)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209489)

I think choice should be a relevant thing, just as there are many options when choosing which smartphone you want (or regular phone for that case) so should there be multiple choices in OS and window manager, however the key is to make these transparent to people. Just by having certain computer hardware manufacturers bundle a chosen supported linux flavor is good enough assuming they advertise it and suggest it where appropriate, which sad to say isn't happening much yet. Dell, Lenovo, and Toshiba all need to do something to improve the sales of the linux desktops and laptops with their supported pre-installs to make this happen.

Re:Novell...Hmm! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27209585)

I used to be a GNOME user but find the latest offer from the KDE folks quite compelling. So let's strip out the "fat" in KDE, convince GNOME folks to join KDE in creating a wonderful desktop for the Linux kernel.

Linux *IS* the kernel.

Both KDE and Gnome desktops *are* fully functional, so is XFCE, windowmaker and a lot others that can run without being killed randomly like explorer does.

Lets learn a little more about what GNU/Linux is all about, shall we?

YES! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27209335)

Let's all hope things continue to go down the drain so the Linux base may grow!

Wait...

Narrow minded HR (1)

jlebrech (810586) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209525)

Wait till they try and hire staff for this Linux whim!!

crunchy penguins (1)

CrashandDie (1114135) | more than 5 years ago | (#27209541)

Will Credit Crunch 2009 be the Linux year?

Not just servers - should grow on desktops too (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27209615)

This week a relative gave a desktop running Ubuntu to his kids following a recommendation by a computer store owner "ubuntu is best for kids". Yes! This after having a bunch of worm infested unusable windows & vista laptops lying around his home for months! Shows linux has reached a level where it is very much usable by regular folks.
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